ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-The bikes were clearing out from the self-proclaimed "BikersParadise" at Shady Jack's just after ten Sunday morning. Police had arrived at the North Broadway location just north of downtown, responding to the sixth shooting in the city since just before midnight. In this case, two customers got into a fight. One of them pulled a gun, and they began wrestling over it.
“One of the patrons was struck in the upper body area,” St. Louis Police Lt. Kelly Middleton said. “Right now this person is at the hospital with serious injuries...unknown the extent. The suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction.”
And that was a small part of what had been a long violent night. A crowd was gathered outside Cuz's Bar and Grill in Soulard about 2:45am. Police say there had been an altercation between two men inside.
The suspect, who police are still looking for, went out and waited for 35 year old Shelby Polk to leave. A police officer actually saw the man firing into Polk's car, then getting into a grey Chevy Trailblazer to escape.
Polk, called "Chubb" by friends, leaves behind his wife and five kids ranging from 3 to 16.
In a statement his brother in law, Umar Lee, said, "Coming from a rough background he had turned his life around, gotten clean, and was working at General Motors (with his wife.)...He leaves behind a wife, children, and family who loved him dearly."
An hour after that killing police received reports of shootings at Locust and 14th, and at Washington and 12th in a matter of minutes. Police say a man tried to rob three people at St. Charles and 13th, in the same area. One of his victims tried to take away his gun, then another man emerged and shot both of them. The original robber was killed, and his victim was injured.
“I think it's a tragedy,” Washington Avenue resident and business owner Bob Ray said.
Those who live and work in the area say the incident, just off the busy Washington Avenue entertainment district, provides an unfair black eye for the area.
“I think downtown is a nice safe place to be on any given day,” Ray said while having coffee with friends, Sunday morning. “I've been down here twelve years and I've never had any issues down here. I think it adds to a negative perception of downtown that to some degree is unreasonable.”
Another shooting near Fairgrounds Park in north city had marked the first of the night's three killings. It was on Warne Avenue near Kossuth that police say Timothy Williams, 17, was shot and killed just after midnight.
A police report detailed what happened, saying officers, “upon arrival, located the victim, unconscious and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen, flanks, legs, arms and back.”
Police say Williams was already dead at that point, and there were no witnesses to what happened.
Lt. Middleton, who only was on duty for the morning shooting at Shady Jacks, concedes that all the violence is a challenge.
“We're out there,” he said. “We're doing our best job. We're pooling our resources and hopefully we'll get these crimes resolved quickly.”
Including two other shootings being investigated where no one died, there were six shootings in St. Louis in under eleven hours. Seven people were hit, with three killed.
— George Sells (@GeorgeSells) July 19, 2015